Is getting abdominal liposuction worth it? 5 Potential risks

Heather Campbell
 min read

Is getting abdominal liposuction worth it? It shouldn’t be thought of as a risk-free shortcut to a flat tummy.

Is getting abdominal liposuction worth it? 5 Potential risksObesity is a growing problem worldwide, not only in the United States.

There are a number of risks with abdominal liposuction, such as damage to subcutaneous nerves, an uneven abdomen, an (admittedly low) risk of death, and poor post-surgery healing. Any surgery carries risks, and if it is an elective operation, then one has to ask if it’s worth it.

More and more people are at an unhealthy weight or are simply fatter than they would like to be.

Losing weight has become big business, but what if you’re having a hard time doing it by exercising and dieting alone?

If you are having trouble losing weight, liposuction can sound very tempting. Why go to so much trouble to get rid of your fat when you can just have your fat sucked away?

Admittedly, this sounds very tempting but it is a little more complicated than that. Liposuction, in fact, carries some serious potential risks, so read on to learn if getting abdominal liposuction is worth it.

Is getting abdominal liposuction worth it? Introduction

This article will give you some more information on exactly how liposuction works.

The focus is on the dangers such a procedure entails so that you can make your own choice as to whether you think the benefits are worth the risks. I will address the following points:

  • What are the requirements for liposuction?
  • What is liposuction, and how does it work?
  • What are the disadvantages of liposuction? 5 Dangers

What are the requirements for liposuction?

You may think that anyone can just get liposuction whenever they feel like it, but that is not the case.

You will first need to have some consultations with the doctor performing the procedure, to determine precisely what you want and whether you really want this surgery.

The doctor will also see if you are physically able to undergo such an operation. Surgery is very invasive, so you want to make sure your body can handle it.

The first thing that will be assessed is your general health: it is essential to know whether you smoke, drink, or use drugs and the status of your immune system.

It also looks at:

  • Allergies to certain substances
  • The suppleness of your skin before surgery
  • Medication use
  • Previous surgeries near your abdomen and whether they have left scars

Suppose there are no problems with this, and you finally decide that you really want the surgery. In that case, the doctor will most likely determine that you are suitable for the surgery and will agree to go ahead.

What is liposuction, and how does it work?

Broadly speaking, most people know what liposuction is: the suctioning of fat from a specific area of the body, in this case, the abdomen. But exactly how that works, fewer people know.

To make sure you have a little better understanding of what you (might) want to get into later, let’s explain how liposuction works.

Liposuction is thus the suctioning out of subcutaneous fat tissue. As a result, not only are you less fat after liposuction, but you cannot subsequently become as fat as you were.

Your connective tissue cells, where fat is usually stored, have been removed. Therefore, no new fat can replace it in the future.

You are not only removing the fat but also the ability to store even more fat.

Often the fat tissue is infused with a saline solution containing an anesthetic, so you won’t feel it when the fat is sucked out.

Also, for liposuction, you are usually put under general anesthesia. It is also possible to perform liposuction when you are only locally anesthetized (and therefore still conscious).

Before surgery, the surgeon will mark off the area where they will be sucking out the fat on your abdomen.

Small incisions are made on your abdomen during surgery, from which fat is sucked out.

After surgery, the incisions are stitched back up. If all goes well, they will heal again, and you will have a flatter abdomen.

You will need to wear some sort of corset for some time to help your abdomen recover.

What are the disadvantages of liposuction? 5 Risks

It seems like liposuction is an ideal solution for all your problems.

You remove your excess fat, so no new fat will take its place in the future, and it is done with one surgery.

But if this is the case, then surely everyone who wants to lose weight would have such an operation performed?

Most people don’t do this because liposuction also comes with some serious risks.

Because of this, some people choose to eat a little less and exercise a little more anyway.

Tip: An abdominal exercise machine can help you get started, as discussed in our other article Abdominal exercise machines for overweight people to burn belly fat

Before you choose to have liposuction, it is crucial to be aware of these dangers.

Therefore, I would like to briefly discuss the most critical dangers. These are the following risks:

  • Damage to subcutaneous nerves
  • An asymmetrical belly
  • Death on the operating table
  • A subsequent bleeding
  • Poor healing of the wound

Risk 1: Damage to subcutaneous nerves

During liposuction, subcutaneous connective tissue cells are sucked out. These cells serve to store fat, but they also help protect subcutaneous blood vessels and nerves.

If you start sucking this fat away, there is a real chance that it will damage subcutaneous nerves, with very unpleasant consequences.

For example, it can cause you to partially lose feeling in your abdomen.

It may only be a small surface, but because of the close intertwining of all your different nerves, it can easily be a more significant area.

This may not sound terrible, but many people perceive it as very unpleasant.

Another risk is that you will actually be in continuous pain.

A damaged nerve need not be rendered completely useless. It may also be that it is only partially damaged, which can result in a nasty, stabbing pain.

Pain is never fun, and the only way to fix it is often to eliminate the nerve altogether with another surgery (in which you also have a chance of damaging other nerves again).

Being too fat is not pleasant, but always being in pain is certainly not nice either.

Risk 2: An asymmetrical belly

This may not sound like a serious danger, especially since an asymmetrical belly is not dangerous to your health.

However, if you are having liposuction to get a nicer tummy, this danger also seems worth mentioning.

When you undergo liposuction, your abdomen may just start to look very strange, in terms of being uneven.

You might prefer a fat belly rather than one fat on one side and thin on the other.

In liposuction, the surgeon can make an error in judgment and asymmetrically suck out tissue.

For example, you may have more fatty tissue on one side of your abdomen than on the other.

Then when you start eating again, you get fatter on one side of your stomach than on the other, which looks very strange.

Risk 3: Death on the operating table

It may sound exaggerated, but this is a risk worth mentioning.

It doesn’t happen regularly, but there is a chance you will die on the operating table during liposuction, just as with any serious surgery.

When it comes to removing cancer cells, this is a risk that people are willing to take. So you may wonder if it’s also a risk worth taking if it’s just about losing fat.

Of course, when you’re dead, that lovely, flat belly won’t do you any good.

The main risk here is not waking up after anesthesia. Anesthesia is a drastic way to numb someone, basically numbing all the muscles in the body.

You would not survive this situation if you were not connected to all kinds of devices.

There is always the (slight) chance that the body will not be able to pick up after surgery, and thus you will die on the operating table.

Even if you opt for a local anesthetic, the danger is not over. There can always be complications or mistakes during an operation like this.

For example, sudden, intense subcutaneous bleeding can cause you to not survive the surgery if doctors don’t notice it in time.

Surviving surgery is never a guarantee. So really ask yourself if you think the liposuction is worth the risk of never waking up.

Risk 4: A subsequent bleeding

Adipose tissue also serves to protect the subcutaneous blood vessels.

These blood vessels can become so damaged that you suffer from subcutaneous bleeding during surgery. These can also occur after the operation: this is known as post-operative bleeding.

Such bleeding can occur in the blood vessels under your fat tissue, in the fat tissue itself, or in the skin of your abdomen, but it is always very annoying.

It can be very painful, and in addition, it can lead to dangerous blood loss. If the bleeding doesn’t hurt, it’s actually even more dangerous because you don’t realize quickly enough what’s going on.

Risk 5: Poor healing of the wound

Your stitches will close up nicely after liposuction if all goes well, and you won’t have too much scarring. But, of course, it’s not always the case.

In fact, there is a real chance that liposuction will leave you with a large wound that will not heal or will heal poorly, which means you will always see it.

If you have fat sucked away, you are probably doing it because you are not completely satisfied with how your body looks.

You find that you are fatter than you would like, so liposuction seems to be a great solution.

However, when you are left with a gigantic wound that never really heals, you are probably even less satisfied with your body than before the procedure.

You can just mutilate your belly with an operation that should make it more beautiful.

This is not a common occurrence, but if you are left with a permanent wound from liposuction, it is almost always quite visible and therefore drastic.

Incidentally, what increases this risk is not wearing (properly or long enough) the corset you receive when you have had liposuction.

You should wear this corset for about three weeks to make sure everything is bonding properly.

However, if you don’t, you’re more likely to be left with a wound from this surgery.

Is getting abdominal liposuction worth it? Conclusion

While liposuction can be effective, it is also a very intense procedure with many potential dangers.

Therefore, you should try losing weight in other ways first, and only when you are really at your wit’s end should you consider if getting abdominal liposuction is worth it.

Related post: Best diet for abs: 8 Super tips to reveal & define your abs

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More